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Why Knitters Are Nicer

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I was so so so cheered by all the lovely messages, newsletter replies, tweets, and of course blog comments I received yesterday. And a mention on the Electric Sheep Podcast was just the icing on the birthday cake. Thank you, thank you, thank you, lovely knitters! Replies are on their way.

I’m usually a pretty upbeat, positive person, and I adore doing this here, with you. I still find this a little hard to define, because as you know I do a lot of random, silly things, and knitwear design sometimes seems like a small part of it. I love ideas more than anything, and design more than most, and knitting as much as, well… you, and all together they make me very happy indeed. But every day I meet people who scoff at my work, who ask me snidely how much I make, and inevitably wonder when I will get a proper job (& my own place). Luckily for me, none of these people are in my family. I don’t get hurt by these comments (that would be ridiculous), but I certainly get cross. There was a time when they made me doubt myself, and I sat in a dark office and did work that made no one on earth happy, least of all me. But now I brush them aside and try to use my crossness to fuel me in my work. Still, if it wasn’t for the positive feedback I get from you, I don’t know how long I’d be able to sustain this.

So THANK YOU! & if you’re just heading out on your own path and working for yourself, please don’t listen to the naysayers. Listen to your own true, brave voice and no other. Trust your own confident, capable hands. Don’t let anyone come between you and the joy of steering your craft.

You might be interested to note that my cynics all share one common factor (apart from cynicism, that is): they’re inevitably non-knitters. Which leads me to believe that there is a higher preponderance of nice people among knitters than in the general public. I have some theories about this:

  • Knitting is a calming occupation. Because knitters relieve stress through knitting, they’re less likely to lash out at others.
  • Knitting is a creative act, and it’s my belief that creating something makes people feel more fulfilled, so that they don’t have the urge to belittle the work of other people to make themselves feel better.
  • Knitting is contemplative, and anyone who takes the time to slow down and listen to their thoughts is better able to assess their relationships with others.
  • Knitting teaches you patience.
  • The devil makes work for idle hands. A knitter’s hands are always busy.

Of course we all have a long way to go, but I do believe that knitting can help us get there. Don’t you agree? :)

21st June, 2011  // Inspiration, Life // tags: , , .

Knitters’ Valentines

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KnitLove vol. 2 has been updated! I added a brand new card design (‘You’re my Knight of Knit’), a liner for the envelope, and some stickers to seal it, and took some new photos, because I wasn’t too happy with the old ones.

The collection was originally designed for Valentine’s Day, but I think the cards would bring a smile at any time of year. Besides, you can always use them as notelets, if you don’t fold them up. Volume 2 costs £4, but shhh, blog readers can use this extra-special discount code to get £1 off: VALENTINE11. All because I ♥ you, knitters! :) Happy Valentine’s Day!

Knitter's Valentines
Knitter's Valentines
Knit Valentine's Cards
Knitter's Valentines

11th February, 2011  // Downloads // tags: , , , , , .

101 Reasons Why I Love Knitting

Oh knitting, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

  1. it’s calming.
  2. it’s creative.
  3. it’s enjoyable.
  4. it’s easy.
  5. it’s difficult.
  6. it can be undone.
  7. it encourages me to practice maths.
  8. i don’t need maths to do it.
  9. it encourages me to be lazy.
  10. it allows me to do something with my hands, even when i have to concentrate on something else.
  11. i like the feeling of yarn.
  12. i like the feeling of needles.
  13. i like the gentle click the needles make as i knit.
  14. i like to make the things i wear.
  15. i like to know how the things i wear are made.
  16. i like to keep warm & help others keep warm.
  17. i like having the ability to create something i want to wear.
  18. it helps me think.
  19. it improves my concentration.
  20. it connects me with many other people.
  21. it creates physical representations of time, effort, and love.
  22. it encourages me to improve my photography.
  23. it encourages me to improve my drawing.
  24. it encourages me to think laterally.
  25. it’s taught me a lot about fiber that i would otherwise not have known.
  26. it helps me make decisions about what i wear.
  27. it encourages me to be patient.
  28. it encourages me to try new things.
  29. it can be practiced almost anywhere.
  30. it’s ancient.
  31. it’s brand-new.
  32. it never gets old.
  33. there is no limit to the variety of stitches and patterns that can be knitted.
  34. there are many many different ways of knitting.
  35. it’s elegant.
  36. it’s a way of filling my life with colour.
  37. it’s a language not everyone knows.
  38. it’s a language everyone knows.
  39. it’s multi-lingual.
  40. it’s tiny.
  41. it’s huge.
  42. it’s extremely precise.
  43. it can be fudged.
  44. it can be used to make the most necessary, and the most unnecessary things in life.
  45. it’s practical.
  46. it’s limited.
  47. there are always things to learn.
  48. it’s meditative.
  49. it can help you look cool & detached in a heated discussion.
  50. it’s endlessly frustrating. (it winds me up!)
  51. it’s basic. all you really need is a length of something string-like.
  52. it’s thrifty.
  53. it’s luxurious.
  54. it takes hours to learn.
  55. it takes years to perfect.
  56. it’s addictive.
  57. it’s tempting.
  58. it’s ripe for allegory.
  59. it makes me want to jump out of bed.
  60. it makes me not want to go to sleep.
  61. it’s taught me to notice which styles flatter me & which don’t.
  62. it encourages me to challenge myself.
  63. there’s no wrong way of doing it.
  64. it can be a social activity.
  65. it can keep you company when you’re alone.
  66. there’s no need to make long preparations.
  67. it keeps me from biting my cuticles.
  68. it looks impossible to non-knitters.
  69. a knitted piece is never final or finished, but is always in flux.
  70. knitting is a fun way to donate to charity.
  71. knitting teaches you to deal with anxiety and worry.
  72. a knitted piece can always be recycled.
  73. knitting can be work or play.
  74. it can help you procrastinate.
  75. it can help you stop procrastinating.
  76. it improves your visualisation skills.
  77. it’s a conversation-starter.
  78. it’s resourceful.
  79. you can rip it when it makes you angry, and it’s still OK.
  80. it’s not fashionable.
  81. it can help you show someone just how much you care.
  82. it’s literary & makes me want to write.
  83. it can drape.
  84. it can be sculptural.
  85. it’s concrete.
  86. it’s better than just sitting there.
  87. it’s one of the simplest ways of creating fabric.
  88. it encourages you to branch out into other fiber-crafts.
  89. you can literally put blood, sweat, tears (and hair) into it.
  90. you can use your needles to stratch your back.
  91. it often defies both logic and probability.
  92. every stitch is unique.
  93. every stitch is a brief metamorphosis, every stitch has a previous existence.
  94. it’s made of loopholes.
  95. it’s high-tech.
  96. it makes a good day better.
  97. it’s feminine.
  98. it’s masculine.
  99. you are what you knit.
  100. it’s active, dangerous, risky & terrifying.
  101. it’s classic.

Writing this list really filled me with joy for my art. I’m sure I could find another 101, but I’d quite like to read some of your reasons too!

14th July, 2009  // Inspiration // tags: , , .
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